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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
LOTR Failures and problem choices which Peter should not repeat in The Hobbit

AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Jan 17 2011, 7:11am


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LOTR Failures and problem choices which Peter should not repeat in The Hobbit Can't Post

I am, without a doubt, a huge supporter and fan of The Lord of The Rings films. I saw the films in theatres close to a dozen times each, and we won't talk about how often I have watched the DVDs, especially EE Fellowship (though I never watch EE ROTK because of a certain unmentionable scene involving an incarnate Maia and the wraith of a human king). All that said, I felt that there were a few places in the films where Peter made choices or decisions that were too problematic to ignore. They were not many. But those which bothered me most I shall list herein, ordering them from major to minor. Understand that this will not cover every single flaw in the films, only the ones I found most glaring. If you wish to add concerns over things you felt to be missteps in LOTR that you do not wish to see take place in The Hobbit, freely voice them. Again, I feel a deep gratitude to Peter for the effort he put into making the films, and for the overall good job that he did with them. . . but that does not mean they were free from flaw, and we should not be unwilling to voice our problems with the flaws that were present.

My major list is as follows, with some of the more significant issues being explained further, farther down.

1) Gandalf's magic: To be blunt, it was shortchanged and in shortchanging it, Gandalf himself was also diminished. I will discuss it further later in this post.

2) The significance of the connection between Sauron's Ring and The Elf Rings and its relation to the Elves increasing exodus from Middle-Earth is never explained: This is an especially major problem which effects the entire story. The films continually stress that the Elves are departing, without EVER explaining why. Yet both the Fellowship text AND the old Bakshi/Peter Beagle animated version have the crux of the issue summed up in a single paragraph by Galadriel. To Quote the animated film "If you fail, then nothing can stand against Him (Sauron) and we are defenseless. Yet if you succed. If The One Ring is destroyed, all we have built with The Three will fail. Time will come here, and Lothlorien will fade. You are The Footstep of Doom to us Frodo." The significance of this is immense. Without it the Elves increasing departure is extremely difficult to explain, as is the bitter sweet nature of the notion of The Rings destruction for them. I certainly hope that this situation is much more plainly explained in The Hobbit, as The White Council and its discussion of The Rings of Power provides the perfect opportunity for this needed explication.

3) The scandalous absence of Glorfindel This one is self explanatory. Hate that Glorfindel was so badly abused and omitted when so many less relevant characters at least got speaking cameos. He is part of The White Council, give him a moment for God's sake. . . and don't Kill him like they did poor Haldir, for the love of Heaven!

4) There should be a greater representation of Harfoots in The Shire: Wink Yes, you know EXACTLY what I mean. And don't trouble me with semantics and technicalities. There are lots of options in choosing extras to play Harfoots. Lots of options. That is all I will say about that, for now. Lol.

Now, about Gandalf's magic, my feelings are as follows. . .


I cringed when I read the recent interview with Ian Mckellen, in which the interviewer asked our beloved actor, "What exactly can Gandalf do other than use his staff as a flashlight? There it was. The way far too many viewers of The LOTR trilogy came away viewing The Great Wizard Gandalf The Gray. And that would be fine, if his displays of magic in the books were limited to using his wand as an illuminator. But that ISN'T the limit of his magical displays in the book. Aside from lifting curses, and raising spirits, and opening doors, yes, dammit, sometimes he conjures up a flesh searing, hair singing, eye opening feats of lightning and blue coloured flame. For the sake, evidently, of Peter's personal tastes, he was cheated of this in the LOTR series. Even as Arwen managed not only to steal both Glorfindel's scene and his horse, but also to aqcuire and recieve full credit for a river related enchantment which was actually the work of Elrond and Gandalf, even as Saruman astonished by conjuring a storm several hundred miles long and potent enough to shake a mountaintop, Gandalf had three of his four most impressive feats of wizardry in Fellowship ( his explosive magical confrontation against the Wargs in the passes of Cahradras, his lightning and flame inducing battle against The Nine Nazgul Lords atop Amon Sul, and his initial contest of wizardry and wills with The Balrog [the omission of with not only detracted from Gandalf, but also diminished The Balrog, leaving the demon looking less diabolically sorcerous and more brutishly bestial in ability] which also ended in an explosion] taken away from him, leaving him seeming notably less capable as a force of wizardry than he actually was. This is before even mentioning the infringements upon the power of Gandalf The White. Why should there be concern of him being stabbed by an orc, when he specifically tells Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, "No blame to you, no harm done to me. Indeed, none of you has any weapon that could hurt me." And this is with Aragorn in possession of Anduril!! I won't even comment on that foul foolishnes which didn't happen between Gandalf and The Witch-King in EE ROTK. Because it never happened! I say, I say it NEVER happened! My blood pressure is skyrockeing just thinking about that bit of heresey. In order to avoid a stroke, I am going to veer away from that particular issue.

In The Hobbit, Peter needs to give Gandalf his proper dues as a great Wizard. He needs to maintain Gandalf's powers in keeping with the way Tolkien represents him in the books. That means, amongst other things, us seeing some of the fire enchantments for which Gandalf, in his incarnation as The Gray, is famed. And he is famed for them. Recall his words to The Fellowship when he conjures a spout of Blue-green flame to light their campfire in the midst of the mountain snow storm. "If there are any to see, I at least am revealed. I have written 'Gandalf is Here' in words that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."

Despite some arguments to the contrary, it would also not be in the least inconsistent from Fellowship for Gandalf to display more formidable wizardry. Fortunately enough, the only times in The Fellowship films where there was really opportunity and need for him to display his powers in a confrontational way (outside of his decent but could have been more impressive conflict with Saruman) were in The Mines of Moria, and since in the films The Wise are already aware of the presence of one of Melkor's ancient Demon Lieutenants within the halls of Khazad-Dum, it is easy and reasonable to assume that Gandalf witheld from wasting his powers on orcs and trolls, in anticipation of a potential battle with that mighty and sorcerous evill Power.

I understand Peter's desire not to have the magic in the films come across as cheap or "cheesy". Yet there is a wide, vast place of happy medium between "cheesy" and underwhelming; between "Michael Bay style" over the top, constant explosions and the type of magical acts which you have to squint to see, could miss if you blink, and which leave unschooled viewers unfairly and severely discrediting the magic user responsible. An excellent example was Dumbledore's firestorm in the sixth Harry Potter film. The primary word with which my friends and I described it was, simply, Biblical. Gandalf should not perform a blinding magical feat every five minutes. They should not be so ubiquitous and nuclear that we begin to confuse him with Manwe and start to wonder why he would even be worried about such matters as Sauron and his little Ring. HOWEVER, there should certainly be instances, as with the books, when Gandalf does reveal something of his hidden power and unleash his magical might. And, as with Dubmledore's Moses moment, and Arwen's also Moses moment, and Saruman's great storm, when those instances occur, viewers should find them reasonably astounding, even awesome. When he darkens the chamber of The Goblin King and sends the central fire up to the ceiling in a pillar of blue fire and glowing smoke and piecring sparks, audiences should be heard to exclaim, "Well that was an eye opener, and no mistake!" Not, "what . . did something happen. Something seems to be different. I think the fire might have changed colour or gotten brighter or something. . . did that old fella try to cast a spell or something?"

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

Subject User Time
LOTR Failures and problem choices which Peter should not repeat in The Hobbit AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 17 2011, 7:11am
    Here we go again... sador Send a private message to sador Jan 17 2011, 7:54am
        Long time lurker responds Vellamo Send a private message to Vellamo Jan 17 2011, 4:02pm
        Why only Jackson shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Jan 18 2011, 1:18am
            I want you to feel free to elaborate. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 18 2011, 1:31am
                Just a couple off the top of my head shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Jan 18 2011, 3:45pm
                    In the book "Lord of the Rings" Tolkien meticulously plotted out the time-lines. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 18 2011, 4:07pm
                        OT: you had a hilarious typo in your subject line entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 18 2011, 4:24pm
    What's this anger about a maia and a human king? lurtz2010 Send a private message to lurtz2010 Jan 17 2011, 8:04am
        no... nobofthepony Send a private message to nobofthepony Jan 17 2011, 12:15pm
            Dawn take you all, and be stone to you! Pipe Dream Send a private message to Pipe Dream Jan 17 2011, 1:08pm
                Remember Helm's Deep Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Jan 17 2011, 1:55pm
                    Well... Pipe Dream Send a private message to Pipe Dream Jan 17 2011, 2:28pm
        Forgive me for not replying to everyone by name or post AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 17 2011, 10:54pm
            My biggest fear for the Hobbit Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 18 2011, 12:00am
                Agreed LordMaximus Send a private message to LordMaximus Jan 18 2011, 12:17am
                    There are a host of cameos of minor significance. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 1:38am
    I think you are going to be disappointed in the Hobbit movies Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 17 2011, 8:11am
        Touche Milknut Send a private message to Milknut Jan 17 2011, 8:24am
        QFT!! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jan 17 2011, 5:02pm
    I think you are missing something about the Hobbit. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 17 2011, 9:43am
    The problem with Glorfindel macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 17 2011, 11:54am
    It is just a movie makonix Send a private message to makonix Jan 17 2011, 2:11pm
        LIKE LIKE LIKE !!!!!!! Lindele Send a private message to Lindele Jan 18 2011, 12:41am
        Book vs movie and interpretations of them renzn Send a private message to renzn Jan 18 2011, 8:54pm
    Are you fixing The Hobbit, or LotR? squire Send a private message to squire Jan 17 2011, 2:24pm
        It needn't be that way Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 17 2011, 6:22pm
    It is interesting that you mention the point about Gandalf's magic... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 17 2011, 5:14pm
        Well macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 17 2011, 6:22pm
            I didn't forget the forcefield bubble, etc. sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 17 2011, 7:49pm
        Gandalf has his abilities very much restricted. Elladan Send a private message to Elladan Jan 17 2011, 7:18pm
            Gandalf was referred to as Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 17 2011, 7:37pm
        Why does a wizard's strength Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 17 2011, 7:44pm
            Part of a great wizard to me is having the ability to show their power sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 17 2011, 8:03pm
            Agreed DiveTwin Send a private message to DiveTwin Jan 17 2011, 10:29pm
        Wow. Lindele Send a private message to Lindele Jan 18 2011, 12:45am
            Nothing worse than a Cheese Wizard!// Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 18 2011, 12:54am
            Having read the books allows one to note the instances of Gandalf's magic and it's implementation AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 1:46am
                lol...reducing Gandalf to a wise old man beating people with a stick is quite cheesy sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 1:01pm
                    sphdle1 macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 18 2011, 1:13pm
                        I know we can't completely compare sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 2:31pm
                            Dumbledore was not based on Gandalf entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 18 2011, 2:41pm
                                Rowling macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 18 2011, 2:44pm
                                that was what I had heard, but none the less sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 2:52pm
                                    Maybe Lindele Send a private message to Lindele Jan 18 2011, 3:23pm
                                        No I'll watch both sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 1:44pm
                                    I love hearing your pespective, sphdle Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Jan 18 2011, 6:46pm
                                        thx ... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 8:15pm
                                            sphdle1 macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 18 2011, 8:27pm
                                                I was just about to suggest the audio tapes entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 18 2011, 9:12pm
                                                Yeah I've heard about those... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 1:47pm
                                I kinda doubt J.Ks word on this. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 11:23pm
                                    I tend to agree sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 1:51pm
                                        I don't know if you got a look at the list I made a few posts back AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 2:05pm
                                            thx ... I saw that.// sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 2:15pm
                                        Not Merlin, but Väinämöinen and Odin Finrod Send a private message to Finrod Jan 19 2011, 2:44pm
                                            Midgård macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 19 2011, 2:49pm
                                    I think she was telling the truth Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 19 2011, 3:39pm
                            hedge wizards vs divine messengers Finrod Send a private message to Finrod Jan 18 2011, 6:59pm
                                Yeah Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 18 2011, 7:10pm
                                I think, only now, Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 18 2011, 7:59pm
                                Very well said, and all true to boot. Thanks. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 18 2011, 11:08pm
                                Finrod, I won't repost all that you said. . . But Amen, brother. Amen. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 4:40am
                                So it sounds like in the books he did great things... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 2:08pm
                                    Yup. He was robbed. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 2:16pm
                        As has been said, there is a broad expanse of middle ground AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 9:22pm
                            I liked the films' treatment of the Balrog Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 19 2011, 3:49pm
            What some people find cheesy, others find spectacular sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 12:49pm
                I can see where you're coming from Lindele Send a private message to Lindele Jan 18 2011, 1:33pm
                    He doesn't have to be about magic, he nevertheless has great powers of magic AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 9:53pm
                        Disagree Lindele Send a private message to Lindele Jan 18 2011, 10:20pm
    Book to film adaptations Allanon Jan 17 2011, 5:31pm
        Exactly! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jan 17 2011, 5:40pm
    OMG! Glorfindel IS in The Hobbit! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jan 17 2011, 5:36pm
    I happen to think... Pipe Dream Send a private message to Pipe Dream Jan 17 2011, 9:18pm
        How about Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 17 2011, 9:31pm
        I really can not think of any good reason for creating such a seen in the Hobbit. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 17 2011, 10:03pm
            Lead Pipe? Pipe Dream Send a private message to Pipe Dream Jan 17 2011, 10:14pm
                Well, there is a fat stay-at-home hobbit... sador Send a private message to sador Jan 17 2011, 10:22pm
                    It's fine. / Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 17 2011, 11:31pm
        And according to The Hobbit, he does have that moment... Earl Send a private message to Earl Jan 18 2011, 2:24pm
    Regarding things they shouldn't repeat... FrodoEyes Send a private message to FrodoEyes Jan 17 2011, 9:19pm
    yes CuChulainn Send a private message to CuChulainn Jan 17 2011, 11:02pm
        I'm with you. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 12:02am
    the ring nenyacaster Send a private message to nenyacaster Jan 18 2011, 1:33am
        No, his ring wouldn't have effected that. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 1:49am
            Gandalf's fire and his ring Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 18 2011, 9:28am
    Well these things seem to represent a magical wizard to me. Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 5:31am
        Well, now. . . AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 7:14am
            Yeah... I'm not giving anyone carte blanche... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 7:31am
                To clarify... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 12:20pm
                    interesting Bombadil21 Send a private message to Bombadil21 Jan 18 2011, 12:49pm
                        Right... exactly. Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 12:54pm
                        It could be argued that what Jackson chose to emphasize... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 1:03pm
                I am uptight about it. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 9:15pm
                    Hey AinurOlarin... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 9:30pm
                    With due respect to everyone, Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 18 2011, 9:34pm
            You keep mentioning Arwen Elladan Send a private message to Elladan Jan 18 2011, 1:47pm
                I like to think of the Arwen moment that way as well, however no neophyte will. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 10:10pm
                    As a movie firster Arwen Skywalker Send a private message to Arwen Skywalker Jan 19 2011, 4:16am
                        I agree about the staff Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 19 2011, 3:57pm
                            Gandalf has no staff FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jan 20 2011, 8:57pm
                                My mistake Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 20 2011, 9:37pm
                                I have a problem with the whole blasted thing, but I agree with you whole heartedly at the last point. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 21 2011, 6:33am
                        I am a movie-onlyer and sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 5:36pm
                            It's in the RotK extended edition Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 19 2011, 5:40pm
                                The point, as misguided as it was... Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jan 19 2011, 7:20pm
                                    The answer may be in the Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 19 2011, 7:50pm
                                        Actually, mortal weapons could no longer harm Gandalf after his reincarnation. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 20 2011, 2:33am
                                No it didn't! It NEVER happened. It is a lie! An illusion. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 10:29pm
                                    BUT I saw it and it happened! Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 19 2011, 10:42pm
                                        Nope, you didn't AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 20 2011, 2:37am
                                    SuperGandalf macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 19 2011, 10:48pm
                                        Well, it was an exaggerated version.... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Jan 19 2011, 11:11pm
                                            One of my most favorite scenes in the Book and Peter should have done just as Tolkien did. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 19 2011, 11:37pm
                                            The problem is they upped the tension excessively AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 20 2011, 2:43am
                                        No, just a superArwen who can drown Nazgul with a chant. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 20 2011, 2:30am
        They did show some display in FOTR, but it was just a teaser sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 2:07pm
            Ginny Weasley! macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 18 2011, 2:14pm
                Hey I have a crush on Ginny Weasely... Earl Send a private message to Earl Jan 18 2011, 2:27pm
                but that is the level of magic Gandalf showed throughout the 3 movies sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 2:36pm
                    Maybe so macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 18 2011, 2:48pm
            I suspect you will be disappointed entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 18 2011, 2:17pm
                That puts in it better perspective sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 18 2011, 2:46pm
                    I will give you some examples from the books. . . things the revisionists would keep from you (da dan daaaaant!) lol AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 2:25am
                        Sounds like that is a somewhat pivotal moment in TH... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 2:14pm
                I agree that Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 18 2011, 3:27pm
                    Which is a clear and lucid exposition sador Send a private message to sador Jan 18 2011, 3:33pm
                        I disagree Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Jan 18 2011, 4:37pm
                        Yes I agree Bran Send a private message to Bran Jan 18 2011, 5:41pm
                    Perfectly said. As Elrond and Aragorn make plain. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 19 2011, 2:35am
                Gandalf is essential. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 18 2011, 11:37pm
    By the way... failure is pretty harsh word... for some of the most... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 18 2011, 5:39am
    Please no Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jan 19 2011, 12:16am
        Those wern't horse droppings. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 19 2011, 12:21am
            All right, Triceratops droppings, then! Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jan 19 2011, 12:24am
                Did you see Jurasic Park? Talk about deroppings!// Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Jan 19 2011, 12:26am
                    Yep... Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Jan 19 2011, 12:34am
        I actually liked all the scenes you mentioned and the way the humor was done... sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 2:33pm
            sphdle1 macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Jan 19 2011, 2:37pm
                I'll have to some day, but first I'd like to see the extended versions of LOTR.// sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Jan 19 2011, 5:20pm

 
 
 

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